The rugby loving public in the country can expect a rugby blockbuster when unbeaten Trinity College Kandy takes on underdogs Royal College Colombo in the first leg of their 72nd Bradby Shield rugby encounter at the Royal Sports Complex on April 30 (Saturday).
This traditional encounter is sponsored by Singer Sri Lanka Limited. The kick-off is at 4.30 p.m. The main match will be preceded by the under 17 match which is played for the Simithrarachchci Trophy. This match will commence at 3.30 p.m.
This series began in 1945 and since then 71 ‘battles’ have been fought with Trinity College leading the series with 39 wins against 30 by the Royalists. The match of 1992 ended in a tie.
Royal College is the present custodian of the Bradby Shield having won it by an aggregate of 72 points to 22 last year. In the first leg played at Pallekelle the Royalists earn a hard fought 23 – 22 win, but in the return crushed the ‘Lions’ 49 nil in Colombo.
Trinity College will be led by Sri Lanka under 19 second row forward Rahul karunathilaka who has led the team from the front. They have played three matches, winning all three and remain unbeaten. These wins were against Wesley 7-5, St. Joseph’s 40-14 and D.S.Senanayaka College Colombo whom they beat 65-0.
Royal College have beaten D.S.Senanayaka 36-10, Wesley 17-14, but lost to S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia 21-15, a match, which critics feel the Reid Avenue boys should have won.
Royal College will be led by that hard working Sri Lanka under 19 prop forward Nikila Gunadheera who is a fine leader. In full back Ovin Askey they have a fine place kicker who can tilt the game in favour of the Royalists with his spot-on kicking. But Royal’s only blemish has been their defence which has been suspect many a times in this season.
ROYAL COLLEGE ( PROBABLE XV )
Ayesh Maduranga, Hamza Reeza, Nishan De Silva, Ashen Fernando, Harith Lokugamge, Yohan Kanishka, Pasindu Amarasinghe, Nikila Gunadheera (Captain), Nikil De Silva and Ashok Wijekumar, Shabith Feroze, Nikil George, Andrew De Silva, Mahima Gamage, Ovin Askey, Head Coach- Sanath Martis, Asst. Coach-Dushanth Lewke
TRINITY COLLEGE ( PROBABLE XV )
Shaveen Ekanayaka, Kanchana Wimalasiri, Nathan Yee, Rahul Karunathilake (Captain), Rishane Madena, Rukshan Dhammapala,Woren Weerakoon, Shalindra Alahakoon, Anuka Boyagoda and Thushila Perera, Geshan Pethiyagoda, Diluksha Dange, Avishka Shiek, Ayesha Edirisinghe, Sanushka Abeywickerema, Head Coach- Erick Miller, Asst. Coach – Sean Wijesinghe